World Para Swimming Championships: Malaysia stripped of hosting 2019 event
Malaysia has been stripped of hosting the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships for refusing to let Israelis compete, says the International Paralympic Committee.
Malaysia, which is a majority Muslim country, banned the athletes because of what Kuala Lumpur sees as Israel’s poor treatment of Palestinians.
The Israeli foreign ministry condemned the decision and accused Malaysia of antisemitism.
The event was due to begin on 29 July.
“When a host country excludes athletes from a particular nation, for political reasons, then we have absolutely no alternative but to look for a new championships host,” said International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president Andrew Parsons.
“All World Championships must be open to all eligible athletes and nations to compete safely and free from discrimination.”
The IPC said it had been given assurances by the Paralympic Council of Malaysia in 2017 that all eligible athletes would be allowed to compete safely in Kuching.
Parsons added: “Since then, there has been a change of political leadership and the new Malaysian government has different ideas.
“Politics and sport are never a good mix and we are disappointed that Israeli athletes would not have been allowed to compete in Malaysia.”